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Apply to college
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You already know the value of college. Here’s how to get started on the application process.
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Create your profile
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Your Common App profile is your chance to shine. It’s everything you want a college or university to know about you - from your academic coursework to your extracurricular activities.

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Add colleges to your list
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Now you get to decide what’s most important to you in a college or university. Search through the characteristics and add colleges that align with them.

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Gather requirements
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Once you’ve decided where you want to apply, make a checklist of everything required. Each college and university is different, so make sure you stay on top of their application requirements.

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Submit applications
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Be sure to take a moment to celebrate this huge accomplishment! And remember to finish the academic year on a high note, apply for financial aid and prepare for the future.

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The application guides
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Now that you know what to expect from the process, you’re ready to apply. We’ve created two simple guides, one for first-year and one for transfer applicants.

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For first-time students
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Use this guide if you’re in high school and intend to apply as a first-time full-time freshman. It will walk you through the application from start to finish.

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For transfer students
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If you’re looking to transfer to a four-year institution or intend to restart your college journey, this is the place to get started.

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Essay Prompts
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The Common App essay prompts provide an amazing opportunity for you to tell colleges and universities about who you are and how you can contribute to your future campus experience.

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Explore colleges on Common App
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Search more than 900 member colleges and universities using Common App. See application requirements, access virtual tours, learn about academic programs, testing policies and student experience on campus. Get started today to add colleges to your My Colleges tab in application.

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College exploration and planning
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There are so many important factors involved in finding the right college for you. Here are some resources to help you discover the most important qualities in your future college campus.

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Attend a virtual college fair
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Hear from college admissions representatives virtual, learn about what campus life may look like, and discover brand new college opportunities!

Register for one of NACAC's Virtual College Fairs!

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Explore the COVID-19 question
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We want to make sure you have the opportunity to provide details about how COVID-19 has impact you personally and academically on your college applications. If you need it, there is a question on the Common App this year and you will only have to complete the question once. The question is located in the Additional Information section of the application, and will allow colleges and universities to better understand your experience. Your school counselor will also have space in the Common App recommender system to talk about how the pandemic affected your school.

Learn how to plan for the question, and if responding to the question is right for you, by visiting our blog.

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Start your college essay
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Wondering how to approach the college essay? Common App's Scott Anderson offers his timely advice on sharing your personal and academic experience. Learn more on our blog.

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Why is college worth it?
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A college education is truly the best investment you can make in your future, and that investment continues to pay off over time.

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Paying for college
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It’s never too early to start thinking about how you will pay for college. And there are probably more financial aid and scholarship options available to you than you might think.

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Start your application today
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